Before I start, I want to address my non-writing readers. You will want to read to the end of this post and learn how you can win a $20 Amazon gift card from me!
Now, to those who write, want to write, are afraid to write, or are just curious about the mind of a writer…most of us battle fear. But what exactly do writers fear? Are all fears the same? How can we overcome fear and succeed?
First, there are different kinds of fear.
Fear of failure
Fear of Failure Questions:
- What if I try my very best and it still isn’t good enough?
- What if I pour myself into this dream and I never publish more than a blog post?
- What if the stack of rejection letters don’t pave the road to traditional contracts but are, in fact, just rejections upon rejections that declare I am not good enough?
The Fear of Failure Lie:
- If I never try—if I never put myself out there—I’ll not fail.
Fear of Failure Truth:
- If you never try, you’ve already failed.
Fear of success
Fear of Success Questions:
- If I do my best, battle the fear of failure, actually sell a book, will anyone read it?
- If they do read it, what if the reviews are bad?
- Can I handle criticism of my work?
- Can I handle not being liked?
Fear of Success Lies:
- I can protect myself from hurt by closing myself off from others.
- I can control all aspects of life.
Fear of Success Truth:
- Putting yourself out there is always a risk, but sharing your work helps you become a better writer.
- Not all feedback is negative. Weed through it, apply the truth, and discard the rest.
- If you’re looking for praise and adoration, you’re in the wrong career/hobby. Everyone has an opinion and the popularity of social media has made it easier to share those opinions.
- Learn to differentiate between a criticism of your writing and a criticism of you. Comments are often not as personal as we make them.
Fear of self promotion
Fear of Self Promotion Questions:
- How do I get the word out about my book without sounding prideful?
- How do I spread the news beyond a repeated request for everyone who knows me to: Buy my book! Because that gets old. Quickly.
- How do I, as a believer in the Lord, a person committed to the pursuit of making less of me and more of God, do something as self-promoting as talk about me? My book? My work? My yada-yada-yada?
Fear of Self Promoting Lies:
- A grass-roots word-of-mouth publicity plan is enough.
- Promoting my book and promoting me are the same thing.
Fear of Self Promoting Truths:
- Word of mouth is GREAT. But sometimes, I have to speak first.
- If I don’t care how my book is received, why will anyone else?
- I am NOT promoting me. I am promoting a product or message that I believe can help/encourage/instruct someone else and ultimately draw them closer to the Lord.
One core fear
All the above sub-fears share one core fear: Fear of man. What will people think of me, my work, my message? But I am not called to fear man. I am called to fear God.
Do I fear the Lord?
The bigger question is: Do I fear the Lord? Because if I do, than I know my life isn’t about me. It’s about Him. The truth is, I will get some things wrong. I won’t always say it right, write it right, or be right. But God hasn’t called me to perfection. He has called me to repentance and obedience. He has called me to develop and use my gifts for His glory.
I’ve battled all three of these fears in the weeks leading up to this Friday. This Friday, I am celebrating the release of Glorious Surrender. Getting to this point has forced me to surrender even more to the Lord.
- I’ve surrendered my privacy by sharing some deeply personal illustrations with the desire that my experience will point you to the answers found only in Christ.
- I’ve surrendered my writing preferences, because in many ways, fiction feels so much safer. This book is real. It’s raw. Sharing it has put me into an uncomfortable and vulnerable position. But if being in this spot helps you in your walk with the Lord, it is worth it. Because that’s what matters. More than comfort, more than preference, I want to see you deepening your faith and seeking the Lord.
Come on back Friday, Nov 4th to this blog and celebrate a social media book launch party! I will be hosting in three places: my Facebook writer page, twitter, and on my blog. Visit any of those places and comment about surrender between 10:00am and 9:00pm EST for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. See full contest rules here